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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Surrey Performing Arts Library

What a magnificent facility the Performing Arts Library is! I went there today for the first time in years and it is an Aladdin's Cave!



There are vast quantities of scores which mean nothing to me as a non-musician, but what I care about is the sheer number of audio CDs. I picked up a copy of Missa Solemnis, a work I probably have on cassette somewhere (recorded in my student days).

Listening to a work by every major composer from this library is a sort of parallel project to my own. I don't intend to do it but someone else might take up the challenge?!

The incredible thing is a lot of people in Surrey probably do not realise this library even exists. Although there is a small fee to take out a CD it's a fraction of the cover price, and those Wagner box sets do not come cheap!!

There's also a listening area for you to sample the CDs before you commit to hiring them for a week.

So although the Beethoven book I read was poor, it has sparked a re-interest in music. I like Beethoven's piano music best. His symphonies were one of the first classical CDs (or even records in some cases) I ever listened to, but some of his other pieces I now prefer. Missa Solemnis is a bit of a challenge to my non-musician's ear, I never really enjoyed it in my student days.

Although I sometimes claim to know every major bit of classical music it's probably not true -it's a huge exaggeration! I just have heard every (well most) major bit of classical music that Nottingham Library happened to possess in 1988-1989, there are probably huge gaps. I'll have to make my trips to the Performing Arta Library more regularly to fill them in and revisit the stuff that has laid dormant in my head for 25 years.

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